Hometown Artist Soaring!
We are very pleased to show the work of a Belmont High School graduate, Jerry Suh! She came to the U.S. with her family in 2007. With the encouragement and guidance of Belmont High art teacher, Mark Milowksy, Jerry’s art blossomed. She began to find great success, winning a couple of awards and receiving a full scholarship to Savannah College of Art and Design, where she graduated with a BFA in animation in 2015.
Here are a few excerpts from Rebecca Richards’ interview of Jerry:
When did you start making art? How old were you? Painting? Drawing?
I always liked drawing as long as I can remember, haha. I knew I seriously liked cartoon when I was in the 6th grade in elementary school (I know, how serious can a 6th year old be) after completing my first cartoon series in 4 years.
Milo [Mark Milowsky] was my biggest influence. I could possibly not be doing art right now (even though I doubt it) if I didn’t meet him.
Art wise, it was Prince of Egypt. The first time I watched it, I was 8 or 9 years old or something. It’s so funny to think of 9-year old me, but 9 year old me teared up watching the first shot of the film because I thought it was so beautiful.”
Do you work digitally now?
I work completely digital on a Cintiq now using Photoshop. Coming up with the concept and the story behind the paintings is the most important stage. Especially for animation, storytelling is considered the most critical skills.
What do you like best about working in animation?
I love people in this industry. I honestly believe that you can’t have a evil spirit if you are working for animation. My (unproved) theory is that if you like cartoons and work for it, you must be a kid at heart for some degree. I’ve never really imagined my life without pursuing animation, so working for animation feels very natural to me. But the goodness of people in this industry was something that I didn’t expect/know, and I feel very lucky to be part of it.
Favorite part about making art?
Art feels very natural to me. The best part of making art is that I can be myself. It’s like wearing clothes that fits me perfectly. I don’t mind spending hours and hours working. But it doesn’t mean that it lets me down sometimes because I want to reach the best of my potential and it doesn’t work like that all the time. I went through so many ups and downs while pursing art and there were times I even questioned to myself if art was really for me. Pursuing passion can be a very lonely journey sometimes. But I realized that passion is not always about joy but also about pain. I am going through all ups and downs as an artist and I am willing to because it matters to me that much. So in that sense, the best part of making art and following my passion is that it makes me strong as a person.
Ultimate career goals?
My near future career goal is to work for a feature animation and see my name in the theater with my family as the credit goes up. It swells my heart to imagine that moment. My long-term career goal is to be a Director of Photography of a feature film.